Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
In criminal cases, particularly homicides, actions of the accused or the situation under which the crime was committed for which state statutes allow or require imposition of a more severe punishment. "Special circumstances" in murder cases may well result in the imposition of the death penalty (in states with capital punishment). Such circumstances may include: rape, kidnapping or maiming prior to the killing, multiple deaths, killing a police officer or prison guard, or actions showing wanton disregard for life such as throwing a bomb into a restaurant. (See also: capital punishment
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:24 pm